It is Impossible to Overstate How Terrible Mike Pompeo Is
What’s most unique about Mike Pompeo isn’t the fact he’s a terrible human being, it’s the fact he’s so transparent and shameless about it. This became crystal clear last April when I read the transcript of a speech he gave at UAE-funded think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
First, he falsely characterized Wikileaks as a hostile non-state intelligence agency (despite lauding it during the election), and then used this false categorization to launch an attack on the First Amendment.
“…Julian Assange has no First Amendment privileges. He is not a U.S. citizen. What I was speaking to is an understanding that these are not reporters doing good work to try to keep the American Government on us. These are actively recruiting agents to steal American secrets with the sole intent of destroying the American way of life.
“That is fundamentally different than a First Amendment activity as I understand them. This is what I was getting to. We have had administrations before that have been too squeamish about going after these people, after some concept of this right to publish.”
Greenwald on Pompeo’s words
Pompeo’s remarks deserve far greater scrutiny than this. To begin with, the notion that WikiLeaks has no free press rights because Assange is a foreigner is both wrong and dangerous. When I worked at the Guardian, my editors were all non-Americans. Would it therefore have been constitutionally permissible for the U.S. Government to shut down that paper and imprison its editors on the ground that they enjoy no constitutional protections? Obviously not. Moreover, what rational person would possibly be comfortable with having this determination – who is and is not a “real journalist” – made by the CIA?
So how could Mike Pompeo – fresh off embracing and honoring Saudi tyrants, standing in a building funded by the world’s most repressive regimes, headed by an agency that for decades supported despots and death squads – possibly maintain a straight face as he accuses others of “making common cause with dictators”? How does this oozing, glaring, obvious act of projection not immediately trigger fits of scornful laughter from U.S. journalists and policy makers
The reason is because this is a central and long-standing propaganda tactic of the U.S. Government, aided by a media that largely ignores it. They predicate their foreign policy and projection of power on hugging, supporting and propping up the world’s worst tyrants, all while heralding themselves as defenders of freedom and democracy and castigating their enemies as the real supporters of dictators.
From Pompeo’s Bio
The conservative Pompeo became known for his hawkish stances on national security, including his opposition to the Iran nuclear accord and support of surveillance programs.
He has called for the “roll back” of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
Next, the Assistant Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel was named the Director of the CIA.
If you like waterboarding and torture and want to have more of that in your life, then you will love Ms. Haspel.
Haspel’s legacy is marked by her time in charge of one of the CIA’s most controversial programs to boot ? the torture of terror suspects in the early fight against al Qaeda.Working as a clandestine officer in Thailand in 2002, Haspel reportedly was involved in the interrogations of two suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, several news outlets reported last year. The methods used against the men included waterboarding Abu Zubaydah 83 times in one month, to the point where doctors once had to revive him, and ramming his head into walls. He lost sight in one eye.The torture sessions were videotaped, and Haspel also allegedly played a part in the tapes’ destruction in 2005. The CIA has disputed this, saying the decision fell to Haspel’s boss at the time, Jose Rodriguez.
CIA agents tortured terror suspects in black sites across the globe until former President Barack Obama ended the practice via executive order in 2009.
And recall, that
1. the label of “terrorist” is simply a rhetorical mechanism to justify violence against political enemies.
2. Al Qaada, as an organization, is a creation of the western intelligence agencies to collectively refer to “pissed off Arabs.” “Al Qaada” is another rhetorical device.
3. Institutional violence against “terrorists” and “Al Qaada” is a practice to set the world on fire with rage, fear and violence and to create a reign of terror domestically with surveillance, unrestrained police violence and torture, and the crushing of dissent.